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Author Topic: Anachronisms.  (Read 9190 times)

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Re: Anachronisms.
« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2012, 11:48:06 AM »
They did because they had to pay by the word. 

I remember Evelyn Waugh's book 'Scoop'.  In telegrams the word 'soonest' appears.  This was never a locution that would have been used by English speakers in conversation on either side of the Atlantic.  The meaning was, 'As soon as you can'. In telegram language it made sense. 

'Soonest' counted as one word.  'As soon as you can' counted as five words.  That would push up the cost of the message.


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Re: Anachronisms.
« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2012, 05:14:06 PM »
Time for a blonde joke (no offense, please, to blondes--you can add your rival college, whatever...)
Two sisters needed a new bull for their farm but only one could make the trip by train to the far away town, leaving the other one home with the trailer.  If the bull was deemed ok, the one sister would telegraph the other to come with the trailer and they would haul home the bull.
After purchasing the bull, sister one had little money left.  At the telegraph office, it was determined that she could only afford ONE word to tell the blonde sis at home, "I decided to purchase the bull so you need to travel here with the trailer."
Sis thought a while, and then paid for the word, "Comfortable."
The telegraph operator had to ask how that would relay the message.
"Oh, my sister has to spell out words, so she will read 'come for ta bull.'"
 ;D ;) :)
Fear is temporary...Regret is forever.


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Re: Anachronisms.
« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2012, 06:19:31 PM »
A great telegram was sent by General Sir Charles Napier when he was in colonial India.

He sent the single word - Peccavi.


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Re: Anachronisms.
« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2012, 08:39:32 PM »
I was doing some research on potentially anachronistic phrases because I'm writing a book (steampunk) set in 1870 and I'm trying to stay relatively true to the time period.  One phrase that surprised me was "old hat" - it was still used by the Victorians, but had a much cruder connotation.  "Old hat" meaning "out of date" was only the 1910's onward - prior to that, "old hat" was slang for a promiscuous lady's privates because they were "often felt."  (As in the felt hats common at the time, and, well, you can guess the rest.)

<splutters> I love that!